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SpunOut.ie, Ireland’s Youth Information Website, and the Union of Students in Ireland (USI) have joined forces to organise a ‘National Voter Registration Day’ on October 30th - an initiative calling on young people to make sure that they are registered to vote.
A recent poll1 showed that over half of the 19-25 year olds in Ireland registered to vote did so during the recent local and European elections, with the overall national voter turnout at 51.6%2. However, it also showed that the number of young people not registered to vote is almost one in three.
Registering is a simple process that involves filling out just one form and National Voter Registration Day is about highlighting that process to unregistered voters in Ireland. 2015 is going to be a significant year for voting with referendums due to take place on marriage and the reduction of the voting age.
The registration process will be highlighted to an online audience through the hashtag #VoterRegDay and the campaign has received support from TV and Radio Presenter Blathnaid Treacy, Irish Olympian Jessie Barr, Irish Times Journalist Una Mullally and Hardy Bucks star Buzz McDonnell.
Volunteers in communities registering people to vote will also supplement this online promotion including the campuses of University College Cork, NUI Galway, Cork IT and Trinity College Dublin.
If you would like to help make a difference, a Voter Registration Volunteer Handbook is available to download at SpunOut.ie/vote to make it as simple as possible to get friends, family members and colleagues registered before the closing date on November 25th.
“Encouraging young people to use their vote is something we are passionate about at SpunOut.ie but getting people registered first is a vital step in that process and one that tends to be overlooked. Approximately 50,000 young people turn 18 every year in Ireland with many unaware that they need to get registered to have their say on polling days,” said Ian Power, SpunOut.ie Executive Director.
“USI are delighted to be partnering with SpunOut for the national voter registration day and hope this will become an annual event that the Government will support. It's important that all young people and students get registered to vote so that the they can have their say in the referenda in 2015 which will include voting on equal access to civil marriage and the right to vote at 16. We will be conducting consistent voter registration drives on college campuses up until the closing date,” said Laura Harmon, USI President.
For information on how to register to vote or change your vote to a new address, visit www.spunout.ie/vote.